Category Archives: Things to Do in Las Vegas

EDC Music Festival Moves Forward With May Dates, It’s Complicated

The EDC (Electric Daisy Carnival) music festival officially announced the event will move forward with its May 21-23, 2021 dates.

That sound you hear is thousands of people shrieking. Some with glee, some with dismay, but it’s happening.

The startling news came just one day after authorities rejected EDC’s safety plan.

Interestingly, EDC is older than most of its attendees.

The eleventh hour decision to proceed with holding the massive event in May was a nail-biter. Previously, multiple sources shared the event would be postponed to October, but organizers had other plans.

EDC’s CEO Pasqual Rotella announced the big news in an Instagram post. Naturally. Because news releases are drenched in weaksauce.

Rotella, which also happens to be one of our favorite pastas, said, “Electric Daisy Carnival is finally on the horizon. There were times during the pandemic when many of us lost hope. We were challenged to learn and listen to our hearts and trust that the storm would eventually pass, making way for a bright and sunny future for those in our community and around the world.”

Let’s just say Rotella knows his target demo.

He continued, “With the world being shut down for over a year, I’m happy to announce we’re on our way to being able to celebrate in person. Book your flights, hotels and shuttles—EDC Las Vegas is on for May 21+22+23!”

While EDC’s original safety plan wasn’t approved, we trust a variation thereof will be.

The 12-page plan (see it in .pdf format) includes all the things you’d expect, like masks, but two elements stand out.

First, there could be COVID-sniffing dogs, which we didn’t even know what a thing before now. That’s right, rona dogs!

The plan even included an area dubbed the COVID Detection Canine Corral.

We aren’t a music festival person, but we damn well are a canine corral person.

EDC’s proposed plan also relies heavily on Health Pass, an app we predicted would be the next big thing in Las Vegas back in Dec. 2020. Our crystal ball comes in handy, not that we have to make everything about us.

The Health Pass mobile app basically connects I.D. verification, lab results and ticketing, so venues can say those entering have been vaccinated or tested negative for COVID.

Sounds like fun!

Health Pass

Before you get all indignant, use of apps and attendance at music festivals are both voluntary.

Given EDC’s plan was rejected by authorities, we honestly have no clue how organizers decided to move forward.

It could be organizers go the O.K. to proceed with adjustments to its plan, or they decided, “Thank you for your input, but we’re holding our rave, anyway.”

Given this is an outdoor event, and there’s relatively little serious risk for younger people (the vast majority of EDC attendees), we say full steam ahead, EDC.

This huge gathering (EDC expects 200,000 people to attend), held at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, is likely to do just what EDC says it will: It will be the first major live concert event in a year, and will symbolically “kick-start the event and hospitality industries” in Las Vegas and beyond.

EDC says the event contributes $300 million to the Las Vegas economy, and those dollars will be welcome in a tourism-based town especially hard hit by the pandemic.

There’s been some glorious drama behind the scenes with EDC, and we can’t wait to see how the saga unfolds.

Despite Our Best Efforts, Karaoke is Back

One of the few upsides of the pandemic was the disappearance of karaoke in Las Vegas, but now it’s back, despite our best efforts.

Yes, yes, we know karaoke (a Japanese term meaning “ear stabbing”) has legions of fans. There are also people who enjoy having their testicles crushed between large rocks.

Anyhoo, Nevada officials have deemed karaoke and open mic gatherings cool again, as long as venues stick to a 50 percent capacity limit.

For additional protection, karaoke lounges must use microphone covers, replaced after every slaughtering of “Sweet Caroline” or “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

Kamu mic cover

So glad we had the foresight to invest in mic condom futures.

Venues must also keep singers 12 feet from audience members, which, in the case of most karaoke singers, isn’t nearly far enough.

Anyone not actively singing, eating or drinking must be masked. Our motto: Always be drinking.

There are a slew of karaoke options in Las Vegas.

A few of the most popular are Cat’s Meow at Neonopolis, Ellis Island, Dino’s Lounge and Kamu Karaoke at Palazzo.

Yes, there are many others, but we don’t want to encourage this behavior.

Kamu neon room

Kamu Karaoke wins everything with this neongasm, one of 40 themed rooms.

It’s best to not question why authorities considered karaoke a public health hazard before now. Beyond the obvious threat to eardrums, that is.

Let’s just focus on the fact Vegas is healing, with restrictions loosening and crowds returning (at least on weekends).

The surprisingly quick return of visitors in such great numbers has caused some service issues, and don’t get us started about rideshare wait times, but overall, Las Vegas is ready to Las Vegas again.

We even sort of welcome the off-key screeching of karaoke singers. We’re confident the feeling will pass.

Expect EDC Music Festival to Be Postponed Until October 2021

Hopes were high the EDC (Electric Daisy Carnival) music festival could happen in May as scheduled, but we hear from multiple sources the event will be postponed until October 2021.

EDC postponed

Don’t cry because it’s postponed, smile because of all the skimpy outfits.

No official announcement has been made about pushing back the dates for EDC, but we have been told an announcement will be forthcoming this week.

From what we hear, the new dates for EDC will be Oct. 22-24, 2021.

We first shared rumors of the postponement on March 11 after speaking with a well-placed source in the live event industry.

No, we do not own a crystal ball. Trust us, though, if we did, it would be named Molly.

We trust the decision to push back EDC was made because it’s unknown what COVID-19 restrictions will still be in place in May. Financially, EDC is unlikely to hold the festival until it can do so with 100 percent capacity, and preferably with no masks. At least not the mandatory kind.

Another big Las Vegas music festival, Life is Beautiful, pushed back its dates as well, to Sep. 17-19, 2021. Tickets to Life is Beautiful sold out in record time, according to the organizers.

ECD is sold out, too, even though it’s already been postponed twice. It was originally scheduled for May 14-17, 2020. Then it was October 2-4, 2020.

Let’s just say it’s a really tough time to try and host a bigass event right now.

Here’s hoping the October dates for EDC stick, and we can all enjoy some electric dance music together again. And by “we,” of course, we mean “you,” because we do not look all that great in booty shorts or a light-up underboob top.

As far as you know.

Update (3/16/21): Source confirms event vendors are being informed EDC will be postponed until Oct. 2021.

Update (3/17/21): Insomniac says the organization continues to plan for the scheduled dates in May. The company adds it will release an update soon.

Pinball Hall of Fame Begins Move into New Strip Location

The wildly popular Pinball Hall of Fame has begun moving into a new location on the Las Vegas Strip.

The move follows a fundraising effort that brought in $200,000 from hundreds of pinball fans. The project overall has cost $10 million.

Pinball Hall of Fame new location

Let the games begin.

Due to the pandemic, the non-profit experienced a revenue shortfall, but supporters ponied up the cash to finish the project.

An anonymous donor, known only by his nickname, “Rocket Man,” helped reach the fundraising goal with a donation of $79,000. That, despite the fact $69,000 would’ve been much more gratifying.

New Pinball Museum location

There’s no sign on the building yet, so we made this one.

We popped into the new Pinball Hall of Fame building to check out the progress and document for posterity the next big thing on the Las Vegas Strip.

The folks doing the move for the Pinball Hall of Fame are all volunteers.

The relocation effort is led by Pinball Hall of Fame owners Tim and Charlotte Arnold.

The plan is for the existing Pinball Hall of Fame, on Tropicana Avenue, to operate until the new venue is ready to open. Then, the Tropicana location will shutter and the Las Vegas Boulevard venue will open the following day.

No date has been set yet for the opening, but you’ll know when we do!

New Pinball Hall of Fame Las Vegas

This may give you better idea where the new Pinball Hall of Fame is located. That’s Mandalay Bay at the right.

The new Pinball Hall of Fame sits at 4915 S. Las Vegas Boulevard, near the airport and “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign.

The new location will boast about 700 pinball machines and arcade games, up from 250 at the former spot.

Many of the pinball machines have been in storage for as long as 30 years due to space limitations in the Tropicana venue.

Pinball Hall of Fame

This is a game called Scramble. Maturity precludes us from saying some of these old-school games get a little freaky.

The new Pinball Hall of Fame will benefit from much higher visibility than its ever had, and guests are sure to appreciate not just the size of the new place, but the sheer variety of games.

The Pinball Hall of Fame is a unique Las Vegas diversion. It’s part arcade, part playable museum.

It’s free to get in, and because Pinball Hall of Fame is a nonprofit, excess revenue goes to charitable organizations.

Pinball

Oh, like we weren’t going to include a photo of the Big Ass Fan.

We were honored to be the first to pretend to play a pinball machine in the new Pinball Hall of Fame, and can’t wait to get our hands on these machines once they’re plugged in.

Beyond Twitter, you can stay in touch with the Pinball Hall of Fame through their excellent Instagram account.

Seeing the community join forces to help the Pinball Hall of Fame meet its fundraising goal was very gratifying, and we’ll see you there, pinheads. All due respect.

Life is Beautiful Unfurls 2021 Artist Line-Up

Downtown’s Life is Beautiful music festival has revealed its 2021 line-up.

You remember music festivals. They’re back, finally.

Life is Beautiful happens Sep. 17-19, 2021.

Festival organizers have put together a diverse line-up of more than 60 artists, several of whom we recognize. Admittedly, we aren’t exactly the festival’s target demo.

Life is Beautiful’s line-up is touted as “transcending genres and generations.”

Life is Beautiful 2021

Green Day is the one with the Fremont Street Experience light show. See? We know music!

Top draws include Billie Eilish, Green Day, Tame Impala, A $AP Rocky, Illenium and others.

The line-up also includes Haim, Young Thug, Glass Animals, Fisher, St. Vincent, 6lack, Modest Mouse, Dillon Francis, Ludacris, Don Toliver, Lany, Brittany Howard, San Holo, J.I.D, Surfaces, Gorgon City, Earthgang, Death From Above 1979, All Time Low, Ekali, Purity Ring, Ashnikko, Shaed, Trevor Daniel, Drama, Cash Cash, Surf Mesa, Still Woozy, Noah Cyrus, Caamp, Yaeji, CloZee, Shiba San, Lost Frequencies, Emotional Oranges, Joel Corry, Remi Wolf, Celeste, Half Alive, Jamila Woods, White Reaper, Slenderbodies, Bia, Lsdream, Notd, Ant Clemons, Mob Rich, Amy Allen, Evan Giia, ford., The Backseat Lovers, Sir Chloe, Teddy Swims, Brijean, PoorStacy, Ekoh, Midnight Kids and Monoky.

Yes, it took us 20 minutes to fix all the random capitalization and self-indulgent stylistic nonsense in these artist and band names. You’re welcome.

Meerkats Las Vegas

Life is Beautiful means more weird things to see downtown.

Life is Beautiful got its start in 2013 and immediately made a splash in downtown Las Vegas, despite the festival losing money for several years (as they pretty much all do in the beginning).

The festival reportedly lost $10 million in its first three years of existence.

Organizers managed to lower costs (by booking less expensive bands) and increase sponsorship deals, so the festival is back despite questions related to the COVID-19 crisis.

LiB’s Sept. 17-19 timeframe gives the festival a bit more distance from the pandemic than EDC (Electric Daisy Carnival) scheduled for May 21-23, 2021. There’s a good deal of skepticism about whether EDC will be able to stick to those dates.

Some were concerned about the future of Life is Beautiful following the death of former Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh.

Hsieh was an investor in Life is Beautiful, along with Insomniac CEO Pasquale Rotella (owner of EDC).

Wendoh Media owns 50 percent stake in Life is Beautiful. Wendoh was founded by Justin Weniger and Ryan Douherty, the indefatigable force behind a number of downtown venues like
Commonwealth, Park on Fremont, Discopussy and Lucky Day. He also has a sweet bar at Area 15, Oddwood.

Life is Beautiful tickets can be purchased at LifeisBeautiful.com starting March 12.

LiB mural

Life is Beautiful doesn’t must mean music, it’s also about big-ass art.

General Admission 3-day tickets are $330; VIP 3-day tickets are $685; VIP+ 3-day tickets cost $1,495; and All-In 3-day tickets will be available for $2,995.

Life is Beautiful is billed as more than just a music festival. Organizers say it “exists to build a more beautiful world, to shift perspectives and create feelings of satisfaction and well-being.”

Given the past year, delivering upon any of those noble goals makes Life is Beautiful worth the price of admission.

Because we could all use a reminder life is, actually, beautiful.

Bonus: We finally get to share our love of music with other human beings again.

Willie Nelson Deepfake Ad for Omega Mart is Wonderfully Disturbing

How many things have you seen today that are truly creative and original? We’ll wait.

Well, the wait is over. You’re about to get an eyeful of Omega Mart, a new entertainment destination at Area 15 in Las Vegas.

Omega Mart opens Feb. 18, 2021, and we can pretty much guarantee you’ve never heard, or imagined, anything like it.

Omega Mart Las Vegas

Welcome to the twisted reality of Omega Mart Las Vegas.

Omega Mart is described as an “interactive, mind-bending art experience.” From what we’ve seen, that’s sort of an understatement.

At Omega Mart, “Participants explore an extraordinary supermarket that bursts into surreal worlds and unexpected landscapes.”

Normally, we’d cringe. Instead, we’re intrigued.

That’s because this place is so weird, it doesn’t matter how it’s described, there’s creative genius at work and we can’t wait to see what Omega Mart has in store. Literally.

Here’s the mesmerizing “deepfake” video for Omega Mart, hosted by “Willie Nelson,” sorta.

We just went from intrigued to enthralled.

There’s so much going on here, the human brain can’t really process it all.

It’s hilarious and ballsy and strange and inventive. It’s reality turned on its head. It’s familiar and absolutely foreign. It’s inspired. It’s unnerving. It’s bent.

Mostly, it’s fun as hell.

Omega Mart Vegas

Why do you always have to “understand” things? You aren’t your grandpa.

Omega Mart springs from the demented geniuses at art collective Meow Wolf, based in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Here’s the official Omega Mart Web site, teeming with WTF.

We trust not everyone’s going to be onboard for this level of weird, but the attraction’s twisted sensibility is guaranteed to create a lot of buzz while helping visitors seek out a venue with a challenging location.

Omega Mart Las Vegas ad

Meat has always been a treat in Las Vegas.

Area 15 is self-described as an “immersive entertainment and events complex,” and sits about a mile west of the Las Vegas Strip.

Area 15 is sort of a mall, but more fun.

First and foremost, Area 15 has an awesome bar, Oddwood, from Ryan Doherty, the guy behind downtown’s Park on Fremont, Discopussy and Lucky Day lounge on Fremont Street.

Area 15’s line-up also includes a flight simulator, zip-lining, virtual reality, art in a variety of edgy forms, an interactive museum called Museum Fiasco, axe-throwing, a freaky video arcade and a distillery.

We expect Omega Mart will help put Area 15 on the map as a must-visit Las Vegas destination.

If you’re still baffled by what Omega Mart actually is, the folks at Meow Wolf are doing their best to explain it.

It’s described as a “playground for your inner child,” it’s selfie and family-friendly, “a spa for the imagination” and “a one-of-a-kind shopping experience.”

Meow Wolf also says, “Think of the greatest amusement park you’ve ever been to, with a Vegas-style twist.”

Given what we’ve seen so far, we’re adding Omega Mart to our short list of most-anticipated Las Vegas openings of 2021, which is saying something because there’s no gambling. Hey, nobody’s perfect.